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Salary, Wages, Pay: Computer Programmers




Median annual earnings of computer programmers were $60,290 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,960 and $78,140 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,080; the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,860. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of computer programmers in 2002 were:

Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers $70,440
Software publishers 66,870
Computer systems design and related services 65,640
Management of companies and enterprises 59,850
Data processing, hosting, and related services 59,300

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelorís degree in computer programming averaged $45,558 a year in 2003.

According to Robert Half International, a firm providing specialized staffing services, average annual starting salaries in 2003 ranged from $51,500 to $80,500 for applications development programmers/analysts, and from $55,000 to $87,750 for software developers. Average starting salaries for mainframe systems programmers ranged from $53,250 to $68,750 in 2003.